Cooking recipes Regional specialties from the federal statesRegional specialties from Saxony-Anhalt

Havelberger beer fish

In the end, it's fish in a brown sauce.

Beer fish: This is a recipe from the Altmark in Saxony-Anhalt with the basic ingredients fish, beer and gingerbread. In the end, it’s fish in a brown sauce. For centuries, this dish has been served in a modified form, especially on public holidays such as Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and at weddings. The party went on to eat any leftover sauce on its own.


High-fat freshwater fish is used for this recipe. It can be several types (as with a good bouillabaisse). Some only take carp . Perhaps this is due to an old recipe “Polish carp” which also uses gingerbread and beer with fish. The ingredients are obvious: The Altmark is rich in fish thanks to numerous lakes and rivers. And here too there were once numerous breweries.

What is the traditional side dish? Rice pudding! Alternatively, you can of course also eat potatoes or a hearty farmer’s bread.

Beer fish soup in a bowl

Recipe for Havelberger beer fish

A somewhat unusual, but very tasty and hearty dish from the Altmark.
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Course: soup
Cuisine: Saxony Anhalt
Keyword: savoury
Difficulty: Beginner
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients & Shopping list

  • 750 g fish fillet from oily fish (e.g. carp, eel, catfish)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bunch soup greens
  • 2 potatoes
  • 100 g streaky bacon 
  • lemon juice
  • 1,5 l brown beer or old beer
  • 100 g gingerbread or honey cake
  • salt, pepper
  • Allspice and bay leaves


  • Clean the soup greens and cut into small pieces. Peel the onions and potatoes and cut into small pieces.
  • Cut the bacon into cubes. Fry together with the onions.
  • Add the soup greens and the potatoes. Braise briefly and pour on the beer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, cut the fish fillet into pieces, drizzle with lemon juice and season with pepper and salt.
  • Add the fish to the stock and let it steep for another 30 minutes.
  • Mix the sauce cake with a little water, whisk and add to the soup. Finally, season with salt and pepper.

Tips & Hints

Alternatively, this recipe is seasoned with bay leaf, allspice, vinegar and sugar. Traditionally, this old recipe is accompanied by rice pudding. Alternatively, a hearty farmer’s bread is also recommended.
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